The torture of a Jewish child
The torture of a Jewish child

Translated from the Arutz Sheva Hebrew site by Chava Shulman.

What is currently happening in Israel is inconceivable. The Jewish world is silent as two Jewish boys have been brutally tortured and subsequently incarcerated for over two years.    

I am referring to the so-called "Duma affair". I will not delve into the legal aspects of this case. The evidence for the defendants' guilt is perceived as fictitious and baseless by many.. I will instead focus on the human dimension.... on the severe, unrelenting pain of parents and children who are tormented by unspeakable and intractable human suffering. 

There are many signs indicating that the arson in Duma, in which 3 Arabs of the Abu Dawabsha clan were killed, was the result of an internal Arab dispute within the Dawabsha clan. Additional cases of arson occurred in Duma after this case, where the unanimous consensus of Israeli police and army was that the fires were started by Arabs of the town. A calligraphic analysis of an anti-Arab Hebrew slogan found in Duma indicates that it was written by Arabic speakers  ...

From a legal perspective, the prosecution has no evidence that the two Jewish defendants have any connection to this crime. The only "evidence" they have are confessions which the Jewish section of the Shabak obtained after mercilessly torturing 16 year old Elisha O. and 18 year old Amiram Ben Uliel for two weeks. Unbelievably, the Shabak committed these acts with the imprimatur of the highest levels of government, starting from the office of the Prime Minister, the office of the Attorney General, the police and the head of the Shabak. 

I would like to focus on the harsh tortures suffered by several Jewish youths, the majority of whom were released without charge, while two others have been languishing in jail now for over two  years. The courts are now weighing whether their confessions can legally be used to convict them even though the prosecution admits that these confessions were obtained under severe torture. 

One of those interrogated boys testified that the Shabak interrogators placed him on a low chair with no backrest, shackled to a chair, with his legs bent back and tied to a chair. The interrogators then forcibly bent his back until his head touched the floor and his back formed an "opposite arc". They held him in this position for several entire nights. The pain caused by this torture was unbearable. The interrogators screamed in his face that if he wanted to be freed, he must confess to the arson and crimes they accused him of.   

The torture lasted for two weeks. It included prolonged sleep deprivation, slapping, beatings, curses, threats, being tied into impossible body positions which caused excruciating pain and fainting.  

One of those interrogated boys testified that an interrogator beat his stomach while another interrogator threw his head back until a doctor had to be called.

Another time, one of the boys was shackled with his feet to a chair, his hands cuffed behind him. The interrogators raised his hands back until they formed a 90-degree angle with his back, thus stopping the flow of blood into his hands. The boy, then 17 years of age,  felt numbness and freezing cold in his hands due to the cessation of the blood flow. Then the interrogators gave him an electric shock and he felt his hands burning with terrible pain. The shock was so strong that the boy was thrown to the ground.  

There are other terrible and horrific testimonies that I will not describe here. The two boys were eventually willing to say anything to stop the suffering, the pain, and the agony. One of the boys, Elisha O., who was a mere 16, tried to commit suicide. He begged the torturers to tell him what they wanted him to admit. He said he would admit to anything to make them stop - even the assassination of Rabin, the murder of John Kennedy or the murder of Arlozoroff.

It was reported that during a closed-door trial, one of the defendants asked his parents to leave the hall when he was called to testify. He did not want his tormented parents to hear about his harsh suffering. 

For over two years, caring and moral individuals have tried to knock on the doors of Members of Knesset, politicians, members of the judiciary, journalists, spiritual leaders ... to no avail. Today,  two families whose sons have been detained in inhumane conditions for more than two years remain alone. 

Where are the voices of the Institute for Democracy, the Council for Child Welfare, the Association for Civil Rights and the Rabbis of Israel? 

Imagine the scale of the suffering and the intensity of the worry. Try to imagine how you would feel if your child was tortured and imprisoned and you were helpless to help him. Inconceivable. Unbearable. Suffering beyond the pale. 

In order to justify the use of "special measures" (harsh torture), the interrogators claimed that this was a "investigation of necessity" (to prevent future terrorist activity). This claim was totally unfounded and fictional. 

And recently, the prosecution requested that the court "recognize torture as lawful"  - an unprecedented request in the State of Israel. This is a continuation of the State Attorney's Office's attempt to convince the justices that despite the use of torture, the confessions were given "willingly" and are legally admissible. They furthermore wrote that the torture was conducted "while maintaining the defendants' dignity (!)" Is it possible to grasp the magnitude of this absurdity? 

I do not know the outcome of the trial, but can only pray that at last, Elisha O. and Amiram Ben Uliel will be treated with justice. What is clear is that the harsh torture of two Jewish boys must be thoroughly investigated. The heart and mind do not tolerate that the Jewish state treats Jewish boys where there is no clear evidence of guilt in a manner that is harsher than they treat Arab terrorists whose bloody hands are held up for all to see.